To start: Here’s a shout out to Sarah in Afghanistan. Give’em hell! I hope your living arrangements get to be better. Your movies will be on their way shortly.
Stop reading here if you don’t like complaining…
I am feeling a little miserable. She’s all cramped and kicking hard for more space. I have had lots of contractions, which are not painful, but uncomfortable. My motility is really bad, i.e. it’s hard to get up and my waddle is profound. :-( It feels like my bladder is perpetually full. I promised myself I would never get swelling, because despite what people say that is not normal. Yesterday when I left work, my shoes were tight!—more water and walking, please.
It’s awful to say, but at this point in pregnancy, when pleading for it to be over, I know why people say they only want to have two/three children (or when they are up all night puking, or when you realize how expensive they are, or that you can invest more time in their care and upbringing the less of them you have). I will conveniently forget these feelings in a year, or so, because as far as I can tell, “the more the merrier,” despite all the trouble to rear them.
And despite my misery, I firmly do NOT want this baby to come now. First, the midwife leaves town tomorrow for five days. I went through all the stages of grief about her possibly not being here for the birth. I thought I was over it, but the more miserable I become the more I wish she were here. Second, I now have four days off work and I plan on spending a majority of that time resting. And I really want that rest, because I know I will enter the land of the living dead as soon as this little one is born. Then, I think I will be far more miserable.
I did not sleep well last night. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. cold and my sinuses hurt quite a bit, so I did not fall back asleep. It was time to get up to start the daily routine about the time I felt like I could go back to sleep. I took a long, hot shower, cleared out those sinuses and sore muscles and got on with it (though still miserable).
Alexander was pretty sweet and well-behaved this morning. He sang the hot dog song…you’d have to be there to know how cute that is. I hated to have to take him to daycare. It would have been nice to go back to sleep for a couple of hours and wake up to sweet husband and son playing. But, I had some work to finish up before I go on leave.
I do not plan to be at work next week. I think the baby is no more than a week away and depending how I feel, I may not go to work next week. However, chances are that after a few days rest, I will not have the baby and will feel much more up to going to work. I still stick by that all signs point birth happening in no more than a week.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
|From Alexander 2nd Birthday|
I think that if you click this image it will take you to the entire Alexander Birthday Album.
10 things about Alexander at 2 years old:
1. Loves Elmo, Thomas the Train, blocks, counting and sometimes he sings the alphabet when he thinks no one is listening.
2. He has figured out how to turn on the T.V. and wants it turned on to kids shows at all times.
3. He still struggles with asthma.
4. Baths are okay, but only if he is ready.
5. Rough housing with dad means number one good time and lots of giggles.
6. Milk! The boy lives on milk. Other favorite foods include pizza, ravioli (kind of getting tired of this), cereal, pop tarts, french toast, bananas and other snacky food items--all junk food.
7. He is pretty cautious.
8. He does not like dirty hands. Unless it is literally dirt and then he doesn't mind indulging in dirt.
9. He does not know how to share. He's very full of himself. How else would he be, he's two and is currently the only child. As far as he is concerned the sun rises and sets for him.
10. He is about to have a baby sister and then his world will really change.
Posted by Renee Clayton at 11:08 AM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I saw my midwife today. Everything is normal for this point (we have some progress toward birth) and the expectation is to make it to somewhere near the due date.
HOWEVER, thanks to our wonderful holiday next week (don't get me wrong, I LOVE Thanksgiving), I will not have another appointment for 13 days AND my midwife is leaving town from Thanksgiving to the following Tuesday. PANIC. I was really looking forward to having a midwife for this birth and now it is a real possibility that she may not be there.
She said that she was fairly confident that she would be there for this birth. But her leaving town does give me a little anxiety. We can make though, I can put me feet up and cross my legs and think good thoughts. :-) This is no time for me to be impatient, even though every other thought I have is about this pregnancy and baby. It's time to take it easy.
Say a little prayer that I have a midwife for this birth. I was feeling SO confident about everything, because I knew she would be there. I am losing my confidence a little...a lot.
Posted by Renee Clayton at 3:13 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
At Br. Gabriel's request:
So our dear friend called Sunday evening and he put into my head that Andrew and I should go "Russian" and spell our daughter's name with a "K," since we are such Slavophiles. I have been hearing this echo in my head for a couple of days now. Today, I mentioned it to Andrew and without hesitation he said, "Okay." Somehow, this has solved his discomfort of spelling it without an "h." We had consider it before, but for some reason it made more sense when Br. Gabriel said it.
Kristiana Noelle - I think...next week we will be back to Walburga.
Posted by Renee Clayton at 3:32 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"AWESOME. I have never been more proud to be an AMERICAN Catholic. I'm always proud to be a Catholic. Love, AC"
I wanted to post the text as well, because someday this link will cease, but my blog will keep record.
Catholic bishops plan to forcefully confront Obama
By Manya Brachear Tribune staff reporter
8:38 PM CST, November 11, 2008
BALTIMORE - In a direct challenge to President-elect Barack Obama, America's Roman Catholic bishops vowed on Tuesday to accept no compromise for the sake of national unity until there is legal protection for the unborn.About 300 bishops, gathered in Baltimore for their national meeting, adopted a formal blessing for a child in the womb and advised Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, president of the conference, as he began drafting a statement from the bishops to the incoming Obama administration. That document will call on the administration and Catholics who supported Obama to work to outlaw abortion."This is not a matter of political compromise or a matter of finding some way of common ground," said Bishop Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio. "It's a matter of absolutes."The bishops, long one of the leading political forces against abortion, spent the first part of Tuesday behind closed doors reportedly debating the merits of "Faithful Citizenship," a nuanced guide for Catholic voters issued last November.
Though the document made clear that "the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life is always wrong and is not just one issue among many," it also advised Catholics to weigh issues like poverty, war, the environment and human rights when choosing candidates.But some bishops said they were surprised to see Catholics cite the document as justification for selecting candidates--like Obama--who support abortion rights. A slim majority of the nation's Catholics voted for the Democratic candidate.Several bishops said that Catholics could not in good conscience vote for a candidate who favored abortion rights after Obama pledged to pass legislation that would overturn state's restrictions on abortion such as late-term abortion bans and requirements of parental consent."Any one of us here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow--die tomorrow!--to bring about the end of abortion," said Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis.Bishops Thomas Paprocki of Chicago said such legislation could threaten laws that allow health-care workers to refrain from carrying out procedures that violate their conscience, putting Catholic health care institutions in jeopardy."There are grave consequences," Paprocki said in an interview. "If Catholic hospitals were required by federal law to perform abortions, we'd have to close our hospitals.""I don't think I'm being alarmist," Paprocki told the bishops.George agreed that losing federal funds would put Catholic health care facilities, which make up a third of the nation's hospitals, out of business. Closing Catholic hospitals would put many patients seeking charitable care from those facilities at risk, he added.In crafting the statement to Obama, the bishops urged the cardinal to indicate a desire to work with the administration in areas of economic justice, immigration reform, health care for the poor and religious freedom. But they stressed the church's "intent on opposing evil" and "defense of the unborn child."They vowed to oppose any law or executive order that might loosen restrictions on abortion.They emphasized that efforts to advance abortion rights would "permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans and would be interpreted by many Catholics as an attack on the Church." They also urged Catholics in public life to be committed to the teachings of the church.Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., vice president-elect Joe Biden's home town, called on his brother bishops to be more punitive against Catholic officials who are "stridently anti-life.""I cannot have the vice president coming to Scranton and saying he learned his values there when those values are utterly against those of the Catholic Church," Martino said.Sister Jamie Phelps, a theologian at Xavier University in Louisiana, also served on Obama's National Catholic Advisory Board. She applauds the bishops for issuing the statement. But she said the Faithful Citizenship document made it clear that while the rights of an unborn child are a priority voters should consider a whole range of issues regarding the preservation and quality of life."That child has no voice if it's not the voice of the bishops and the voice of Catholics," she said. "But you can not pick and choose an intrinsic evil."George said the Faithful Citizenship document remains the guiding principle for Catholic voters. But he said future versions should be tweaked so portions are not "misused and misinterpreted." He said Catholics seemed to overlook the "whole question of proportionate reason."George has attributed Obama's victory to the economy, insisting that it was not a referendum on moral issues such as abortion rights.The bishops also approved a blessing on Tuesday devoted to a child in the womb, intended to support parents, unite parishes and foster respect for human life within society."Obviously it's a very tangible way for us to witness pastorally and sacramentally to the life of an unborn child," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville. "It's very consistent with the priorities we've raised."
Monday, November 10, 2008
We survived the weekend. Alexander is doing much better and eating well. He ate a nice little serving of green beans at lunch yesterday. Woohoo for vegetables! He likes them well cooked and buttery. He's down to two breathing treatments a day.
I took it extremely easy for a few hours on Sunday and I feel much better too--at least in terms of birthing. I did not do the laundry; oh well. I no longer feel like birth is near, which is great.
Andrew will be home late tonight--every garbage can is full and the litter box has not been touched in five days and Alexander is in desperate need of some rough housing. Among a million other reasons he is missed, it will be great to have him home again.
Posted by Renee Clayton at 9:15 AM
Friday, November 7, 2008
I know I said no blogs, but I just feel the need to get it all out—I need a little cathartic blogging. We have been having a little bit of suffering around our home. By all rights, nothing major, but a moderate discomfort just the same.
At this very moment, as I write this blog, I think this baby in utero is trying escape. It feels like she is trying to climb out. Fortunately there are no contractions, so she can’t get out. But, I think she’s dropped already! What does that mean? It could mean we could see each other very soon, or more likely it just means I get to have a bowling bowl against my pelvis for the next month. (Yuck, yuck, yuck, you didn’t want to know that.)
And now for the days of our lives…
We began this unpleasant week Sunday evening with Alexander having a fever. I had trouble sleeping that night—I think it was the time change. The next day Alex was completely unwell. Andrew and I shared caring for Alexander that day. I went into work and then came home in the afternoon. Alex went to the doctor late in the afternoon with a high fever. His throat was badly infected. We were hoping it was strep throat or an ear infection since both of those can be treated with antibiotics. It was not. We proceeded to have several more days of fevers, finishing out the week with asthma complications. More on that later.
What makes things more complicated is that Andrew had a paper to deliver at a conference this weekend. He had not completed the paper and now was caring for an ill child and stressed out wife. Andrew always leaves these things for the final moments. It’s not that he has not been working on it. He just seems to work better under the pressure of the final hours. I always stress out when he leaves these things to the last minute. He tries to tell me it’s not my problem, but it is. He is my other half and he is under pressure, so I am under pressure. Further, if he had completed the paper earlier, he could have cared for Alexander himself and I would not have to miss so much work.
My work is busy and I feel like I am behind, because I will be on leave soon and I need to tie up loose ends. When I was at work at the beginning to the week I felt stressed, because I had to leave a bunch of times to take care of Alexander. I felt stressed because I knew Alexander was at home feeling crumby. And I was tired and unfocused due to not sleeping well—worrying about work, Alex and Andrew.
To be honest, the result of the presidential election did not surprise me, nor stress me out. I said to Andrew after the Republican convention that I did not think McCain could pull it off, because ever since the results of the primaries way back in February and March, not once has McCain been ahead of Obama in the polls. That indicated to me that voters’ minds were not likely to change. I CAN be realistic despite my idealism. But, I wasn’t going to give up hope until the fat lady sung (her name is Oprah…slam). I am very happy his little girls can have a dog now. Having a pet is one of those childhood rights of passage.
I am disappointed, but things are going to be fine for now and hopefully I can get some awesome government freebies that I will now be “entitled” to under the Obama administration. ;-) I mean, if I plan to have eight or so children some free healthcare would be great. (Ha, ha, I crack myself up. Yeah, I know I am the only one laughing.)
Tuesday Alexander was pretty much well, a little tired, but no fevers. Wednesday he woke up with a fever and the sinister asthma cough. Andrew was also leaving that day for his conference, which meant I could not go to work. I went into work for a couple of hours before Andrew left and brought home a little work hoping I could catch up when Alex went down for a nap. Did I mention I was exhausted! I could hardly keep my eyes open. I should have taken a nap myself, but instead I went for the computer to get work done. I quickly found that my plan to do work was dashed. Our computer had a Trojan that I could not remove. (I am currently using an antiquated laptop…it scares me. It’s so slow.) So, I called Andrew and began to blast him for procrastinating and not taking care of things like this, since he knew about it and had plans to reformat the computer weeks ago, and I dumped everything else on him that I had been keeping it all bottled up. He listened to me sob about everything in my tired, delirious, pregnant mental breakdown. He was patient, kind, loving and understanding and promised to fix the things he could. That helped. I feel better now.
I went to the dentist Thursday and the dental hygienist looked at me and said I was not going to make it to the due date. She said the baby had dropped and she was giving it two weeks, or very soon. Of course, I was more than happy to hear this since I am very uncomfortable. Now I am holding out hope that she is right. She has always seemed extremely perceptive to me—like she is clairvoyant. I don’t know why I am so eager to give birth again—immanent pain, months of little sleep. I should just be happy with the nice little life and routine I have now. Maybe it’s things like I went walking today and I could barely tie my shoes and clumsily lost my balance stepping off a curb, fell and skinned my knee like a little kid—it’s little things like that make birth sound appealing. Maybe I am just weary of going to work—although, the work of caring for a newborn is far greater. Maybe I am just eager to meet her and see her.
Alexander’s asthma is currently threat level yellow to orange. It’s more like an orange at night and yellow during the day. He has kept me awake for a couple of nights. He woke up with another fever on Thursday, but the doctor said the day before it was probably due to the asthma since the infection has cleared up. He is not getting enough oxygen at night. I took him to daycare with a fever yesterday morning knowing that it would probably go away as soon as he got moving and cleared his lungs of some phlegm. He did and he had a good day playing with his friends. He was quite exhausted from the breathing troubles. He is having his nebulizer treatments at daycare. This morning he packed up his things early and waited by the door impatiently this morning. I asked him if he wanted to go and he said yes, so I rushed around turning off lights and packing my things. He is tired of being cooped up in the house.
So tired—I am going to bed early. My glands are swollen now too. I hope I don’t get as sick as Alexander.
I assume if you read this far you cared to know. Like I said before this was my great catharsis of the past week (Did I mention I can be a bit of a complainer? It makes me feel better and then I can get on with it). I hope now to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although, I am currently listening to Alexander cough on the baby monitor. I put him in bed an hour ago and he is still coughing. He wanted to go to bed. I hope he can settle down soon. Say a prayer for the little guy and that I don’t have a baby before Andrew comes home (it’s unlikely, but who knows).
P.S. Sorry there are no pictures illustrating this wonderful post this old computer is just to frustrating to wait for it to do fancy stuff like graphics.
Posted by Renee Clayton at 9:00 PM
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Catholics you cannot support a candidate who enforces the right to abortion and still call yourself Catholic. I am very weary of so-called Catholics telling me that all things considered, if they ignore that part of the candidate, he is the best candidate. It is not true on so many levels, but most of all, Obama is not the best candidate because of his position on abortion.
I have seen the websites out there that claim that even Catholics can reconcile their beliefs with Obama’s point of view because of his plan for social programs for women—daycare, healthcare for mother and child, abstinence programs, etc. However, it is a fallacy to believe that simply because these social welfare programs exist that they will reduce abortion. That supposes that the choice to have the child will be easier or more likely, or that people will have better ability to be moral.
In fact, having the types of social programs Obama proposes encourages social irresponsibility. There are responsibilities and consequences to the procreative act—the greatest we will encounter in our lifetime—and to remove some of those responsibilities and consequences encourages irresponsibility, i.e., more people will have intercourse casually with lessened risk of having to care for the health and well-being of partner or offspring.
Abortion and contraceptives exploit women more than anything we have seen since their legalization in our nation. A man can use a woman’s body with no consequences. He does not have to respect her or care for her. When he is done with her body, he can leave her. The woman does not even respect herself enough to demand that only one who will care for her and remain partnered with her may have her. Then when she is left vulnerable and with child, exploited, she makes a horrible decision to end this child’s life, because it would in someway damage her own. Further, there are health risks to these things that everyone seems to ignore. I cannot even go into all the reasons that a woman is exploited via abortion and contraceptives.
Obama said if my daughter made a mistake, I would not want her to be punished with a child. Say what! A child is a punishment. That means you, me, everyone was a punishment to our parents, because statistics are that most parents did not plan their pregnancy. That is the message you want your daughters to get? Children are only good and worthy of life if you desire them? (That’s heinous.)
It’s all disgusting. How can one truly justify abortion? Tell me how are you or I any different than we were at conception? Technically speaking, an embryo has the exact (EXACT) same genetic makeup as a full grown adult. The only difference between an adult and embryo is time and nutrition. If you deprive that from a newborn infant, then you are a heinous murderer. But, if you decide at 24 weeks gestation to deprive that, then there are no social or legal consequences placed upon your head. Further, if by some miracle a child survives this attempted murder by his/her mother, the law does not protect his/her life. (It’s heinous.)
I know. Obama does not “support” abortion. He just wants women to have the right to make that choice for themselves. He does not want them to have to suffer the consequences of their own actions, or the consequences of anyone else’s action either. He does not want the American society to have to be punished with an unwanted child. (It’s heinous.)
Do not vote Obama because you think you can reconcile your beliefs with his. You can’t justify this one.
DON’T VOTE OBAMA.
Alexander's first time trick-or-treating and he took to it like a duck to water. The moment he saw a Tootsie pop enter his bucket, it is all he could think about and talk about. It was the prize of the evening. He had so much fun that when he fell and skinned his knee (pretty badly) he did not even cry until another parent noticed how bad it was later, and mommy gasped at the sight and then the tears fell. The kids were all perfectly adorable. They ingested far too much candy post trick-or-treating, I began to fear for their teeth (and now I know I AM A MOM!).
Mommy's Homemade Elmo; The trick-or-treaters; The Loot; The Prize!; The Cristiana Pumpkin; Mommy at 35 weeks
Posted by Renee Clayton at 7:10 AM